If you want to stop hackers from invading your network, first you've got to invade their minds.
Computers around the world are systematically being victimized by rampant hacking. This hacking is not only widespread, but is being executed so flawlessly that the attackers compromise a system, steal everything of value and completely erase their tracks within 20 minutes.
The goal of the ethical hacker is to help the organization take preemptive measures against malicious attacks by attacking the system himself; all the while
staying within legal limits. This philosophy stems from the proven practice of trying to catch a thief, by thinking like a thief. As technology advances and
organization depend on technology increasingly, information assets have evolved into critical components of survival.
If hacking involves creativity and thinking 'out-of-the-box', then vulnerability testing and security audits will not ensure the security proofing of an
organization. To ensure that organizations have adequately protected their information assets, they must adopt the approach of 'defense in depth'. In other words, they must penetrate their networks and assess the security posture for vulnerabilities and exposure.
The definition of an Ethical Hacker is very similar to a Penetration Tester. The Ethical Hacker is an individual who is usually employed with the
organization and who can be trusted to undertake an attempt to penetrate networks and/or computer systems using the same methods as a Hacker. Hacking is a felony in the United States and most other countries. When it is done by request and under a contract between an Ethical Hacker and an organization, it is legal. The most important point is that an Ethical Hacker has authorization to probe the target.